A number of faculty members of the University of Chicago have voiced their concerns regarding a proposed library that will be built by the Obama Foundation In honor of the 44th President.The library is supposed to sit on the shores of Lake Michigan adjacent to the Museum of Science and Industry just across the street from the campus of the University.
The Faculty wants the library to be shifted to a new location because the current plan for the construction of the building will not bring many economic benefits to the community considering there will be limited land to start any new businesses that can arise from erection of such a center and cited the only economic benefits as employment to the staff that will work in the center.
In a letter, more than 100 faculty members argue that the “promised development or economic benefits” to the neighboring element will not be provided and that the Obama Presidential Center will cost the state $100 million in funding.
“We are concerned that these are not the best ways to use public funds to invest in the future of Chicago,” they write. The professors also argue that the library is a “traffic-jam in the making” as the placement of the building will take over massive sections of the Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance. It will also force the closure of Cornell Avenue a major thoroughfare of the South Side.
The spokesperson for the Obama Foundation was quick to dismiss the allegation by claiming that the construction of the library would bring a horde of tourists to the South Side every year, therefore, strengthening the economic climate of the region. The spokesperson went ahead to add that, While they don’t expect everyone to agree with every element of the plan, they look forward to working with people across the community and the city to make the most of the opportunity to create a global destination that will showcase the South Side to the world.”